Are you paying over the odds for your events? | Dreamscape Solutions

Are you paying over the odds for your events?

When it comes to organising ticketed charity events, most fundraising teams opt for third-party platforms such as Enthuse or Eventbrite.

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And why not? After all, these platforms seem straightforward and simple to use, and their pricing appears eye-wateringly low at first glance.

Eventbrite costs £19 per month and just £7 per event for the charity. Enthuse present a fixed monthly fee of just £34.99. Oh, and they both offer tantalising free trials, too.

NB* The links above take you to the basic pricing pages for Enthuse and Eventbrite, but you must work a bit harder to understand the commission fees taken by these platforms.

It’s so easy

In either case, these are incredibly low-risk price points that can be authorised quickly and without the need for wider procurement scrutiny.

This low-cost, easy-to-use marketing approach has led to mass market dominance for these platforms, with many charities electing to process all digital income through them.

However, dig a bit deeper, and the commission rates charged by these platforms soon add up, taking valuable funds away from your cause.

Many charities seeking ways to improve financial performance and achieve sustainability targets should consider reviewing the terms under which their digital income ‘partners’ operate.

Is it all too good to be true?

Commission fees are applied to ticket sales through these platforms, meaning your ‘partners’ can take a bigger slice than you might have anticipated.

Enthuse, for example, charge a standard monthly platform fee of £34.99 plus commission rates of 3.5% + £0.75 per ticket/registration. They also charge 1.9% + £0.20 payment fee per transaction.

  • A £10 ticket sold through Enthuse comes with a £1.49 fee.

Eventbrite currently charges 6.95% + £0.59 per ticket/registration. In addition, you’ll pay a 5% commission on any Gift Aid they collect for you, too.

  • A £10 ticket sold through Eventbrite comes with a £1.29 fee.

NB* The links above take you to the full commission pricing pages for Enthuse and Eventbrite, but you’ll still need a calculator and a few spreadsheets to get a full grasp of what you’re walking into.

Who shoulders the burden?

Charities must now decide whether to absorb these costs or pass them on to supporters. For the purposes of this article, let's assume that you choose to absorb the costs and intend to keep ticket prices at £10 as a convenient figure for your supporters.

  • In this case, the supporter pays £10 for the ticket, and you get £8.51, while Enthuse (for example) pockets the rest.

The bigger picture

Looking at commission rates on single-ticket sales can make these numbers seem trivial, but when we expand these commission rates to larger events, the fees taken in commission become much more notable.

Here’s a real-life example of how these commission fees can stack up.

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice

Earlier this year, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice launched a Super Car Experience event, selling 4,027 tickets at £3 per ticket, generating £12,081 toward its annual income targets.

Here are the calculated commission breakdowns based on the sale of 4,027 tickets charged at £3 each on both Enthuse and Eventbrite. 

Enthuse:

  • 4027 tickets charged at £0.75 commission: £3,020
  • Ticket value of £12,081 charged at 3.5% commission: £407
  • 1.9% + £0.20p per transaction fee: £1,035
  • Total Eventbrite commission and fees: £4,478 (37%)
  • Leaving BBCH with just £7,603 from their £12,081 collected from supporters.

Eventbrite:

  • 4027 tickets charged at £0.59 commission: £2,376
  • Ticket value of £12,081 charged at 6.95% commission: £840
  • Total Enthuse commission: £3,216 (27%)
  • Leaving BBCH with just £8,865 from their £12,081 collected from supporters.

In either case, well over 25% of the funds received are swallowed up in commission fees from these oh so easy to buy platforms.

At this point we should consider whether your supporters would accept that reduced level of impact from their philanthropic generosity.

NB* These calculations do not include extra platform fees or gift aid commissions these service providers charge. i.e. you’ll probably end up paying more.

A new way of thinking.

Fortunately, Bluebell Wood had elected to use a different platform for the event, generating improved financial results and enhanced operational efficiency.

That different platform was hapiLite, a subscription fee-only platform that facilitates all online giving with direct-to-CRM integration for fixed cost of £599 per month. No other commissions are charged except for the payment gateway provided (Stripe).

Here’s how the numbers stack up for the Super Car Experience using hapiLite:

  • 4027 tickets sold without commission: £0
  • Ticket value of £12,081 charged 0% commission: £0
  • 1.5% +£0.20 handeling fee (Stripe): £805 
  • Platform fee during booking window: £1,198
  • Total cost just: £2,003 (17%)
  • Leaving BBCH with a healthier £10,078 from the £11,622 collected from their supporters

But that’s not where the good news ends. The new platform also integrates with their CRM system, meaning that all 4027 registrants' details arrived on the charities database in real-time, saving valuable resources and time.

Furthermore, the new platform also offered personalised receipt and automated stewardship sequences for improved supporter engagement and retention performance.

“Wow! 265 tickets sold in the first 48 hours, with CRM integration and automated stewardship”
Kelly Gerrard, Individual Giving Manager, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice

Are you ready to use a different platform?

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice used our hapiLite platform for their Super Car Experience event and, based on the success of the event, plans to roll this out across their full event schedule and online giving touch points.

hapiLite is the solution for aspirational fundraisers looking to implement cost-effective and integrated payment solutions into their digital strategy.

Offering direct to CRM integration on Raiser’s Edge NXT and Donorflex 12, hapiLite provides tight control of data flow rules and automatically identifies duplicate records through an online management portal.

How much does this cost?

hapiLite charges no commission on donations, events and Gift Aid, with only minimal Stripe payment fees to consider (1.5% + 20p per transaction).

What’s more, for the £599 per month platform fee, charities can use hapiLite to process all online giving, including:

  • Single and recurring donations
  • In-memory giving, tributes and dedications
  • Paid and donation event ticketing
  • Peer 2 Peer fundraising pages

With just a flat monthly fee of £599 plus basic Stripe transaction fees, hapiLite provides forward-thinking charities with a centralised, cost-effective and fully automated solution to the challenges of modern public fundraising.

Is it difficult to make the switch?

Charities wanting to benefit from lower transaction fees can set-up, configure and launch a hapiLite event in just a few hours. hapiLite customers also benefit from a personalised account management service, meaning that making the switch is simple and straight-forward.

What are you waiting for?

Charities are under immense pressure to keep their income generation totals in line with rising operational costs and to remain sustainable. Any charity looking to save money while also improving operational efficiency should strongly consider weaning itself off its current platform providers and assess different solutions such as hapiLite.

To arrange a personalised one to one demo of the hapiLite platform, get in touch with us today.

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